Tactical Masterclass: How Chris Hughton would change Black Stars tactically

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Wed, 25 Jan 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Ghana Football Association is reportedly considering Chris Hughton to become the new Black Stars manager.   

He served as technical advisor for the Black Stars for 8 months until his interim appointment ran out in December 2022. 

Chris Hughton is an experienced coach whose career started in 1993, when he handled Tottenham Hotspur's under-21 team.

He has been a caretaker for the Spurs' first team before, then moved to Newcastle, where he was handed his first-ever first-team role in 2009.

However, Hughton gained prominence in coaching after leading Brighton and Hove Albion to gain promotion in 2017, breaking the club's 34-year wait for top-flight football.

After the record-breaking promotion, he made sure that the Seagulls maintained their Premier League status for the first two seasons before he got sacked in 2019.

He laid the foundation for Brighton, which was developed by Graham Potter, and now Roberto De Zerbi has taken it to a whole new level, making them one of the most exciting teams in the EPL.

Ghana will be hoping that he will do more of the same for the Black Stars' transition in his new role.

Improving the defense

Hughton played as a left-back during his active days. Therefore, defending is the main feature of his coaching style.

In the season Brighton gained promotion, they conceded 40 goals in 46 matches. A record they shared with first-place Newcastle.

In terms of attack, they were the fifth-best side, scoring 75 goals, five less than Newcastle, Fulham, and Norwich.

Hughton's preferred formation is 4-2-3-1, in which he will have his back four with the full-back not as expansive to give his team a compact shape.

Hughton, unlike other attacking-minded managers, does not play a high line, and thus his full-backs mostly have their areas covered.

Against sides that love to have more of the ball, he switches to a 4-4-1-1 to help overload the opponents in the defensive areas.

The system made it difficult to break Brighton down. On the flip side, the 4-2-3-1 shape also gave them the numbers on the counter, with everything going through Anthony Knockaert while Glen Murray will look to finish off in most situations.

The Black Stars conceded seven goals in three games, which shows a side with a porous defense. 

Considering how he structured the Brighton defense, Chris Hughton would be the best man to solve the Black Stars' defensive lapses. 

Calving a system that sustains Ghana's talented group

After securing promotion with Brighton, Hughton adopted a more cautious approach to keep Brighton in the league for two consecutive seasons.

This depicts a manager who knows how to work his way around situations to get the most out of them.

Brighton placed 15th in their first season with 40 points. After using a mid-block approach in the championship, he resorted to a dominant 4-5-1 low block to achieve his target in the top flight.

Despite finishing 15th, they had a better defensive record than Arsenal, Leicester, West Ham, and a few other top clubs.

However, the approach made it difficult to score goals, and thus they recorded just 9 wins with 13 draws and 16 defeats.

The main highlight of his tactics at the top flight is how he made Pascal Gross one of the best creators in the league.

Gross' best season came under Hughton, where he scored 7 and assisted 8 goals in the 2017/2018 season.

This means he is a pragmatic manager who maximizes the talents available to him for results. He would be the man to count on to improve Ghana's attack, if not to score more goals in a game, and could be reliable with a few goals to get wins over the line.  

He was impressive with a fairly average Brighton side; hence, he could do better in a Ghanaian side that is full of young talents playing top-level football in Europe. 

Beating Jose Mounrinho's Manchester United

Although Brighton placed 17th in the 2018/2019 season which led to Hughton's sacking, the 3-2 win over Manchester United at the Amex Stadium will be his best win at the top-flight level.

In his two years at Brighton in the EPL, he beat Arsenal, Manchester United (twice),  West Ham, Leicester, and other mid-table clubs.

Watch the masterclass of how Chris Hughton masterminded the 3-2 against Manutied vis the link below


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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